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Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions for Prospective Students

What Bachelor of Education degree programs are offered at the University of Calgary?

The Werklund School of Education at the University of Calgary offers:

  • the Bachelor of Education Program, a two-year full-time study after-degree program offered in both the Elementary and Secondary routes
  • several 5-year concurrent degree programs partnered with other faculties on campus

What kind of degree do you recommend in order to be best prepared to apply into the elementary route of the program?

Requirements can be found at the following link: http://educ.ucalgary.ca/upe/node/231

I plan to complete the 3 year Bachelor of Communication and Culture.  Do you accept this degree?

Yes, the 3 year Bachelor of Communication and Culture is well suited for the elementary route of our program.  We would recommend a minor in a teachable subject. 

Do you accept applied or professional degrees for admission to the BEd program?

To qualify for admission to the program, applicants must present a degree with at least 15 full university level transferable courses (30 half courses) from an accredited post secondary institution recognized by the University of Calgary. Applied and professional degrees generally consist of fewer than 15 full university-level transferable courses, and therefore would not qualify.  However, if the applicant has taken additional transferable coursework at another post secondary institution, and the total number of transferable full courses adds up to 15, the applied or professional degree may be eligible.  Consequently, these degrees are evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Applicants with degrees from an Alberta college or institute may wish to consult the Alberta Transfer Guide for courses determined to be transferable.

I want to be a special needs teacher.  What are my options at the University of Calgary?

Applicants to the Elementary route of the program can select Inclusive Education as their area of specialization.  

Do University of Calgary students have a better chance of being admitted?

No.  All applicants are considered equally.

How is the GPA for admission calculated?

  • For an applicant who has completed a degree(s):  The GPA for admission is calculated on the basis of the most recent five university level transferable full course equivalents (ten half courses). 
  • For an applicant who is currently completing a degree:  The GPA for admission to the Werklund School of Education will be calculated on the basis of the most recently completed five university level transferable full-course equivalent (ten half courses) up to and including the Fall 2013 semester.

I have not yet completed a degree but will be completing it in 2015.  Am I still eligible to apply?

Yes.  If you have met your degree requirements by the end of the Summer 2015 semester, you are still eligible to apply for Fall 2015.  Applicants can take Winter, Spring and Summer semester courses to meet degree requirements; however, grades from these semesters will not be included in the GPA calculation for admission.

What is the minimum GPA requirement to be considered for admission?

The minimum GPA considered for admission into the BEd program is 2.50 on a 4-point scale.  However, admission to the program is on a competitive basis by subject specialization and meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission.  The admission averages vary by route and specialization.

If I applied last year and was not accepted because I did not meet the GPA requirement, what can I do?

You can take additional course work to upgrade your GPA.  Any additional course work must be completed by the end of the Fall 2014 session and transcripts will need to be provided.  Transferable course work taken through Athabasca University or another distance delivery institution that is recognized by the University of Calgary is also a consideration.  Please note: Applicants who are interested in upgrading at Athabasca University can take courses with a start day until December 1 at Athabasca University for consideration in a GPA calculation for Fall 2015 admission, as they will be considered Fall 2014 courses.  Transcripts must be received by the Recruitment and Admissions Office.

Is GPA the only criteria for admission?

Admission is based soley on GPA and specific course requirements for the route and specialization to which you apply. Letters of reference are not required nor accepted.

What are the employment opportunities after I graduate?

The Werklund School of Education works in partnership with Career Services at the University of Calgary. A Career Specialist from Career Services provides assistance on resume and cover letter writing, job search strategies, self and skill assessment and interview techniques for students in our program. The Career Specialist delivers workshops for students, and Career Services offers information sessions and posts job opportunities on CareerLink. A great resource for students can be found via this link which provides an overview of careers in Education: http://libguides.ucalgary.ca/content.php?pid=471264&sid=3936784

Career Services also hosts an annual Education Career Fair, where school boards across Canada and internationally attend to recruit teachers for their next academic year. This is an opportunity for our students to talk to representatives from the boards and gather information about employment opportunities.

The Education Canada website is also a resource for information on provincial salaries and employment opportunities across Canada.

If I complete my Bachelor of Education degree at the University of Calgary, can I teach in another province?

If you complete the BEd program at the University of Calgary you must first apply to Alberta Education for teacher certification in Alberta.  You will then apply for certification in the other province.  It may be necessary for you to take additional course work to meet another province's requirements.   Please check with each provincial body.  For a listing of all the provincial bodies responsible for teacher certification in Canada, please refer to the Education Canada website.

 Who determines my salary?

How teachers are evaluated for salary purposes is determined by TQS (Teacher Qualification Service), a branch of the Alberta Teachers' Association, not by Alberta Education or the University of Calgary.  In some cases, courses taken in prior degrees may not be considered for salary purposes.  To determine how qualifications may be considered by TQS, please refer to the Principles for the Evaluation of Years of Teacher Education for Salary Purposes, available on the Alberta Teachers' Association website.

I have teacher certification from outside Alberta, but within Canada.  How can I be certified to teach in Alberta?

You must contact Alberta Education, Professional Standards Branch (formerly Teacher Development and Certification), in Edmonton to have your credentials evaluated. If you are required to take further courses, please contact Shelley Enderton (slendert@ucalgary.ca) in the Office of Graduate Programs, Werklund School of Education.

I have been certified to teach in a country outside Canada.  How can I teach in Alberta?

You must contact Alberta Education to have your credentials evaluated. 

Frequently Asked Questions for Students in the Program

I have just received my letter of acceptance from the Admissions office, what do I do now?

Follow the steps in your admission package to accept your Offer of Admission on your Student Services Centre. Then wait to receive the 'Welcome' letter via email from the Werklund School of Education. Follow the instructions outlined in the letter re: submitting your Field Experience Placement form and registering for the program.

When should I register?

Year 1 students must register once you receive your 'Welcome' letter from the Werklund School of Education.
(sent out in late June via email).
Year 2 students must register once you receive your 'Welcome Back' letter from the Werklund School of Education.
(sent out in late May via email).

When will I find out about my classes?

A course schedule is available at the following link; http://educ.ucalgary.ca/upe/registration-guidelines.
For complete steps on how to register (ie. the registration guide) please visit http://www.ucalgary.ca/registration/.

When will I find out about my field experience placement?

Students entering Year 1 in the Fall will be advised of their Semester 1 school placement in early October.
Students entering Year 2 in the Fall will be advised of their Semester 3 school placement in early October.

Can I arrange my own field experience placement?

Under no circumstances shall student teachers contact a field site regarding their placements until they have been confirmed and posted by the faculty. Pre-arranging placements with specific schools, teachers, or C/W sites is not permitted. It is the responsibility of the student teacher to notify the faculty of any ineligible sites, such as sites where family or friends attend or work, and sites in which the student has volunteered or attended. Failure to comply with these conditions may jeopardize successfully completion of the field experience.

My school site is located far away from where I live, why couldn't I be placed closer to home?

Every effort is made to place student teachers within a reasonable traveling distance from their place of residence, however, based on available school sites, this cannot be guaranteed. As with any paid employment, you are not guaranteed to live next door to where you work and this is the same for field experiences.

If I have a day off from classes, does this mean I can work during the times when there is nothing scheduled?

Students are advised not to engage in any activities which could interfere with the time and energy needed to devote to this program. Schools may require you to be at school past 4:00 pm (e.g for meetings with your partner teacher, for parent-teacher interviews, staff meetings or other professional development activities). The BEd program requires students to work collaboratively -- there are many group presentations -- as well as research that must be conducted. The breaks between classes have deliberately been left unscheduled to allow you time to meet with your group and do your research. Students who try to use this time for paid employment will experience difficulty in keeping up with the work of the program.

Can I change instructors?

This is not normally possible, unless there is a conflict of interest (eg. you know the instructor through another organization and being a student in their class might make your relationship difficult).

Can I change my school placement?

This is not normally possible, unless a mistake has been made in the placement process (e.g. you have erroneously been placed in a school that you once attended as a student).

Can I change my specialization in the program?

Yes, but subject to certain restrictions such as GPA requirements. Deadline to request a change of specialization is NOVEMBER 15th of each year. Email your request in writing to the attention of the Associate Dean at: upe@ucalgary.ca

Can I take a leave of absence from the program?

Please see the following link: http://www.ucalgary.ca/pubs/calendar/current/ed-3-6.html

I have decided to withdraw from the program (for whatever reason), what should I do?

You MUST come into the Office of Undergraduate Programs and speak to one of the student advisors to complete the paperwork for withdrawal.

Who gets the original of the Field Experience narrative assessment?

The original MUST be turned in to the Office of Undergraduate Programs. It is an official university document and must be kept in your file at the University. You should ensure that you have a copy of the Field Experience narrative assessment before you submit it to the office.

Can my partner teacher fax my assessment to you?

Only as a temporary measure in order to get the narrative assessment in by the due date. We still require the original, so the field site will either need to mail it or you can pick it up and bring it in to the office.

If I am sick and cannot go to my field placement, what should I do?

The Bachelor of Education prgoram is a professional degree program, attendance at the field site is compulsory. One day of absence is allowed during the field experience for illness or other personal/family emergencies. Field experience takes priority over any other professional and personal committments. If a students is unable to attend his/her field site, he/she must;

#1 - Notify the field site.
#2 - Notify the field instructor.
#3 - Notify the Office of Undergraduate Programs in Education at the earliest possible time regarding his/her absence.

I am having difficulty with my...

work in class; Speak with your instructor first and then the Director of Student Experiences if you continue to experience difficulty.

my field placement; Speak with your field instructor first and then the Field Experience Coordinator and/or the Director of Student Experiences if need be.

some personal and/or financial problems; Speak with whomever you feel comfortable, but make sure you speak to someone. If these issues are affecting your performance in the program, you should speak with your instructor and the Associate Dean. We are here to help you and may refer you to another office on campus or even refer you to an outside agency if need be.

my instructor; If you have concerns that you have been unable to resolve with the instructor, you should make an appointment to see the Director of Student Experiences.

How do I apply for certification?

See section on Certification.

I would like to request "early certification."

There is no such thing as early certification.

If a school district wishes to hire you to teach before the Dean's List is issued (approximately mid-May), Alberta Education may make this possible by granting an "Interim Letter of Authority." In this case, the Superintendent of the school district must make the request for you to obtain an Interim Letter of Authority directly to Alberta Education. Alberta Education will then contact the Office of Undergraduate Programs to ask us to verify that you have completed all the requirements of the Program. You cannot make this request yourself either to Alberta Education or to the Office of Undergraduate Programs.

NOTE: Under no circumstances will a student be granted permission to begin a teaching position prior to the last official day of classes at the University of Calgary.